Martini Ranch was freezing. All the doors were open too. "How do they manage?" I wondered. I wondered as the air conditioning and fans ruffled the bottom of my brown sundress. I clutched my clutch--it's clasped, white cloth with goldfish on it.
I shuffled to the front of the stage past fans and non-fans who were milling sheepishly. Kris was happy. Scottsdale was the last planned stop on his acoustic tour. His van is breaking down, it's the homestretch. He played a couple new, a couple old, a couple covers.
He showed us the Arizona flag on his arm, the horseshoe below. "I'm running out of time," he told us looking down at the setlist at his feet, "so I'm just going to play as many as I can for you." The fifteen or twenty of us in the bar who cared started feeling anxious. The group of guys with huge gages and nose rings to my left started whining "So Long, Astoria," and other 2002 songs. Kris explained his voice was too shot for some of those notes. It wouldn't be pretty.
"I O U One Galaxy!" the one with spiked hair negotiated. "Ha. No," said Kris. And then the timid blondie to my right with the pretty and uninterested date asked, "Summer Vacation?" Oh. Kris looked up. Oh, yeah, he was thinking. "I...I like that tune." He looked down and recalculated.
"'Alone in Santa Cruz!'" I said, "It's so short!"
"Oh, that? I don't even remember...I wrote that fifteen years ago!"
"San Dimas High School Football Rules" and "Your Boyfriend Sucks." When there were two songs remaining, he played something from his 2007 album, which no one liked. Good for you, Kris. Good for you for doing your own mic checks and entitling yourself to play what you want to play--even when no one's going to sing along.
He closed with "How I Spent My Summer Vacation," pointing to Blondie. "So lucky!" I told him. He nodded, proud. I stuck around to buy a cd. Kris came out with a plastic bag full of naked silver discs. ("Yeah, I just made these and didn't really have time for anything else.") I told him thanks for writing my 16-year-old soundtrack. He said, no, no, no, it means a lot. Sometimes it's not really about who takes the compliment in, it's about getting it out.
You make me smile so wide, when I look into your eyes.
When I'm not around, know you're somewhere stuck inside my mind.